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Oil price decline continues

/ 05:15 AM November 06, 2018

A continued downtrend in global oil prices is seen amid increased crude production especially in the United States, which helped push down pump prices in the Philippines for the fourth consecutive week.

Based on monitoring by the Department of Energy (DOE) , the downtrend was continuing as data from the US Energy Information Administration (Useia) showed an “unexpectedly strong build” in US crude stockpiles.

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Useia data released on Nov. 1 showed that US crude oil output reached 11.3 million barrels per day (mbpd) in August.

“This is the first time that monthly US production levels surpassed 11 mpbd,” the agency said in its latest monthly supply report.

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“US crude oil production exceeded the Russian Ministry of Energy’s estimated August production of 11.2 mbpd, making the United States the leading crude oil producer in the world,” the EIA said.

The Washington-based body also said that in February, US crude output exceeded that of Saudi Arabia for the first time in more than two decades.

In Manila, the DOE said that despite US’ economic sanction on Iran—which became effective Nov. 4—the global oil market remained positive with regard to supply security.

“Iran’s exports have not declined as much as predicted a couple of months ago and it is now clear they will not fall to zero, even after US sanctions are reimposed,” the DOE said.

In its own monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) said its output as a group might have risen in September to an average of 32.76 mbpd last September.

Opec said the latest estimate pegged worldwide total oil demand for 2018 at 98.79 mbpd.

Petron, Shell, Caltex, PTT and Total have cut prices of diesel by 90 centavos a liter and of gasoline by P1 a liter starting 6 a.m. Tuesday.

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Price cuts for gasoline for the past four weeks—which combine at a total of P5.20 a liter—has reversed the previous seven weeks’ rally that saw pump prices rise by a total of P5.05 a liter.

Based on DOE monitoring, the latest movements brought the price of diesel in Metro Manila to within the range of P43.55 to P48.79 a liter while a liter of gasoline with an octane rating of 95 is now in the range of P48.75 to P59.07.

So far this year, prices of diesel have gone down 15 times but have gone up 29 times, resulting in a net increase of P11.90 a liter.

Also, prices of gasoline have gone down by 14 times but have gone up 30 times for a net increase of P9.17 a liter.

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